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10 Pool Design Ideas to Transform Your Backyard

by Cristina Oprean
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4 min. read

A swimming pool can be a superb addition to your backyard. Not only does it provide a fantastic way to cool off and enjoy some exercise, but it’s also a great place for socializing. And the best news? Gone are the days of standard rectangular pools that look somewhat out of place.

New materials and building techniques have enabled imaginative designers to create endless pool designs. So, no matter your space, you can almost certainly find a pool to fit. Whether it blends in or stands out, the choice is yours.

Let’s take a look at ten fabulous pool design ideas:

1. The Natural Look

This design focuses on allowing your pool to fit in with the nature around it rather than standing out like a sore thumb. Remember, there are no straight lines in nature, so a curved pool design is best. Surround the water with natural elements such as rocks, pebbles and shrubs, and maybe even add a waterfall. Use local plants and trees to complete the look, or simply work with what is already there.

natural pool

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2. Shipping Container Pool

This innovative design allows you to quickly and easily add a pool to any space. Work with a professional company to create a heated pool that’s safe and attractive. It can either stand atop the ground, complete with viewing glass and steps up to it, or be dug into the soil.

3. Flower Pool

This colorful design sees your swimming pool bordered by a dazzling array of flowers. Sure to cause a splash, it not only looks fantastic but will smell great too. Care should be taken to prevent the pool water from reaching the plants; otherwise, you’re free to experiment. With proper planning, your pool can be surrounded by color throughout the season.

flower pool

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4. Desert Oasis

Create an oasis in the desert with this fabulous design that works great in hotter climates. Your pool sits amid a landscape of drought-tolerant plants and shrubs, with boulders and sand to complete the look. Add a palm tree for that classic vibe, and be sure to provide some shade, perhaps a canvas canopy.

5. Tropical Paradise

This is a top choice for subtropical climates and makes the most of the weather and plants that you’re likely to already have in your yard. Coral stone flagstones surround a brilliant, blue mood-lit pool, recreating the tropics’ bright white sands and sea. Further back, lush green tropical shrubs, grasses and trees complete the look.

tropical pool

Image: Breslavtsev Oleg / Shutterstock.com

6. Historical Restoration

If you own a historic house, why not create a pool that matches it? Use materials that would have been common when it was built, such as period clay tiles to match a Colonial home, for instance. And don’t forget to add the relevant features from the time, including fountains and spa areas.

7. To Infinity and Beyond

If you own the house on the hill and your yard commands a stunning view, it’s well worth creating a pool that takes it all in. Infinity pools are a great choice in these situations, allowing you to swim to the horizon and enjoy the view.

infinity pool

Image: STEFI PANCHESCO / Shutterstock.com

8. Rustic Retreat

Looking to capture the rustic feel of a Tuscan farmhouse? This design uses a curvilinear pool shape that fits naturally into the landscape. Surrounded by large natural stone paving slabs, pebbles and grasses with the occasional shrub, it oozes charm.

9. Enclosed Lap Pool

Designed for those looking to enjoy a little exercise all year-round, this heated pool is ideal for cooler climates. Rather than being outside, it’s enclosed in its own room, with large windows looking outside and providing natural light. As a narrow lap pool, it won’t take up much space either.

10. Rock Pool

With a cascading waterfall and natural rock flagstones surrounding the pool, you’ll feel as if you’re swimming in a secret cave! Large, free-standing boulders add to the effect, with the occasional shrub or fern to provide a little color. A rounded pool design works best in this case, adding to the rugged, natural look. For something a little special, why not add a rustic stone bridge?

rock pool

Image: Ysbrand Cosijn / Shutterstock.com

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